A passenger traveling from Saudi Arabia to India via the UAE has been detained in Abu Dhabi in a case involving bank loans and credit card dues.
The passenger, Abdul Raheem, 40, earlier worked in the UAE and left the country without allegedly clearing his dues.
Raheem, an Indian newspaper delivery driver in Saudi Arabia, was on his annual vacation from Jeddah to the Nedumbassery International Airport, Kerala, on September 1, 2015, when he was detained at the Abu Dhabi airport by the police.
Raheem has already spent more than two weeks in the UAE and is out on bail after pledging his passport.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7 he says: “I was travelling on an Etihad Airways flight from Jeddah to Kochi on September 1, 2015.
“When the plane reached Abu Dhabi, a CID officer came to the aircraft, called out my name inside the plane and took me out.
“He told me I have unpaid loans and credit cards and that I cannot leave without clearing the dues.”
He says that now he realises that it was a mistake to leave the UAE without clearing the dues.
Raheem has approached the legal cell of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) and his brother who works in Al Ain for help.
According to an Indian social worker with the KMCC, the legal cell has begun receiving such cases, where transit passengers with pending loans or credit card payments to UAE banks, have been held up here.
“Many people think it is easy to take loans and credit cards and leave the country without clearing the dues. “They are taking a big risk. In this case, the victim is stranded here for 16 days and he has no means to make the payment.
“It is better to clear your dues and then leave the country,” said Advocate Sajid Aboobaker of Hani Al Jasmi Advocates, handling the Abdul Raheem case.
“Any blacklisted person for loans or credit card default can be detained even after clearing immigration and boarding the plane.”
“My salary in Saudi Arabia was only SR1,200 and now I will be stuck in jail here,” is how Raheem sees his future.